You might have heard about a little concern called coronavirus, or COVID-19, that’s making its way around the world and finally doing something that decades of PSA’s hasn’t – convincing people that washing hands before eating and going to the bathroom and just, you know, in general is something we should all try to do.
What’s most surprising about the whole hand-washing phenomenon is how many people aren’t doing it the recommended way if killing the most germs possible is the end goal.
Here’s how the World Health Organization says you should properly wash your hands.
Step One: Always use soap and hot water (ideally as hot as is comfortable for you).
Step Two: Lather your hands, including your fingers, between your fingers, and up your wrists. The official WHO direction says to “interlock your fingers, palm to palm, and rub the tops of each side of the back of your hands.”
Step Three: Keep going! Wash the back of your fingers on your opposing palms, clasping your hands together with one palm up and one palm down.
Step Four: Clean each thumb by rotationally rubbing them, and end with scrubbing the tops of your fingers and your wrists.
Also, the length of time you spend washing your hands is important – you should lather and scrub at least as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice.
Here’s a picture breakdown from the WHO:
And a handy video, too!
Now, you have no excuses when it comes to washing your hands, and hopefully following this advice will help keep a few more of us coronavirus (and flu virus, et al) free in the coming months.
And remember, you don’t need a special occasion to wash your hands correctly and often – there are people every day who are immune compromised or not able to receive vaccines for other reasons, and doing your best to keep your germs to yourself could literally save a life.